Weatherford Democrat

March 18, 2013

Aledo ISD selects superintendent search firm


Weatherford Democrat



By JUDY SHERIDAN

The Aledo School Board has named a search firm — Executive Search Services — to help the district find a new superintendent to replace Dan Manning, retiring for health reasons July 1.

The board approved the selection of ESS, a service of the Texas Association of School Boards, in a special meeting March 4 after conducting interviews with three firms.

“They seemed to have the criteria we felt comfortable with,” Board President Bobby Rigues said, explaining the board’s unanimous decision.

“Their price is reasonable, and they’re a branch of the Texas Association of School Boards, an organization we’re a member of. TASB, for the most part, knows every superintendent in the state of Texas.”

Rigues said the board will likely limit the search to Texas candidates in order to avoid certification issues that might slow the process down.

The $8,200 contract with ESS, to become effective when signed, may be increased to include travel expenses at the board’s discretion, Rigues said.

He said the board opted to use a search firm instead of selecting a new superintendent from within their ranks — as they did with Manning — to gain the opportunity to “throw the net out further.”

“Mr. Manning was a product of the district,” Rigues said. “He understood the processes and came with plenty of experience.

“At this point, with this so sudden, it may be that we don’t have someone like that. If there are qualified people, I’m not negating that.”

Rigues said the board hopes to have representatives from ESS at the regular board meeting March 18 to discuss the selection process.

“In general terms, there will be a process to develop the qualifications that the district feels will take us into the future,” Rigues said.

“These are fascinating times, and the ways we’re educating children now may be different in the future.”     

“We want the involvement of teachers, students and the community, so we can share the ownership,” he said. “We want a true collective effort in trying to find the right person.”

Rigues said the firm will help the board determine the best way to solicit that input, perhaps through online surveys and/or community meetings.

He said the entire process — from developing a profile to choosing a candidate — could take from 90 to 120 days.